“I’ll never tell my full story because I don’t get anything out of it. I’ve said all I’m going to say because nobody wins. Everybody loses,” the 45-year-old actress shared.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 27, 2023. It has since been updated.
Sarah Michelle Gellar is best known for playing Buffy Summers on Joss Whedon's TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But the 46-year-old actress has complicated feelings about her seven seasons on the show. She and her husband actor Freddie Prinze Jr. are opening up about her time working on the "toxic" set earlier in her career. Gellar has previously spoken up about the unhealthy work environment she was a part of.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Sarah Michelle Gellar Recalls 'Extremely Toxic Male Set' Earlier in Her Career https://t.co/lE6wA7Zrf9— People (@people) December 15, 2022
At The Wrap’s Power Women Summit in Los Angeles in December 2022, she told audiences, "For so long, I was on a set that I think was known for being an extremely toxic male set," Gellar shared, per The Wrap. "And so that was ingrained in my head that that was what all sets were like, and that women were pitted against each other — that if women became friends, then we became too powerful, so you had to keep that down," the veteran actress shared during the Power of Storytelling: Producers Roundtable.
The Cruel Intentions star hopes that speaking about it can help others, especially women in film. "Now that I've had this opportunity to work with so many more women and men that support women as well, I realized how easy an experience it can be, but… unfortunately we're still in that place where all of those departments a lot of times need to be women for us to have a voice," Gellar said.
Many fans of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” said they are trying to reconcile accusations of misogyny against its creator, Joss Whedon, with their love of a show that celebrated female empowerment.https://t.co/FafEpZEovh— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 15, 2021
Gellar's husband Freddie Prinze Jr. also touched upon what Gellar had to endure while working on the show to The Hollywood Reporter. “She had to deal with a lot of bulls**t on that show for all seven years it was on,” Prinze said. “The stuff they pressed upon her, without any credit or real salary, while she was often the only one doing 15-hour days ... yet she was still able to get the message of that character out every single week and do it with pride and do it professionally,” he added.
It's not just Prinze who is speaking up. Gellar's friend and Buffy co-star Seth Green revealed that Gellar would do her best to try and protect herself and her colleagues. “That show was just hard,” Green told the outlet. She explained, “We were working crazy hours, and a lot of things that got pushed weren’t necessarily safe or under the best conditions. Sarah was always the first one to say, ‘We agreed this was a 13-hour day and it’s hour 15 — we’ve got to wrap,’ or, ‘Hey, this shot doesn’t seem safe,’ when nobody else would stick up for the cast and crew.”
She added, that every time she would take a stand she would be called all sorts of names. "I saw her get called a b*tch, a diva, all these things that she's not — just because she was taking the mantle of saying and doing the right thing," she said.
“I’ve come to a good place with it, where it’s easier to talk about,” Gellar shared but noted that she will never tell the full story of what happened "because I don’t get anything out of it. I’ve said all I’m going to say because nobody wins. Everybody loses.”
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo By Phillip Faraone